Facebook ‘Spam King’ faces prison after pleading guilty to sending 27 million messages

47-year-old Sanford Wallace pleads guilty and could be sentenced to up to three years in prison as well as $250,000 fine

An American man who hacked into thousands of Facebook accounts to send over 27 million unsolicited messages has pleaded guilty and now faces up to three years in prison.

47-year-old Sanford Wallace, known as the “Spam King”, pleaded guilty on Monday to fraud and criminal contempt.

In 2008 and 2009, Wallace gained access to around 500,000 Facebook accounts, using them to post unwanted messages on their friends’ profiles.

Links within the messages would then encourage users to hand over personal details or send them to websites that would pay Wallace for driving traffic.

New information claims that the secret Facebook experiments were more widespread than the controversial mood manipulation studyWallace gained access to more than 500,000 accounts  Photo: BLOOMBERG

In 2009, Wallace, who was also known as “Spamford Wallace” and “David Frederix”, had been ordered not to access Facebook’s network after a civil case brought against him by the social network. However, he quickly breached that order, a crime he also pleaded guilty to on Monday.

He was arrested in Las Vegas in August 2011.

On Monday, Wallace was released on bond and is scheduled to be sentenced on December 7. He faces up to three years in prison as well as a fine of $250,000 (£160,000).

Wallace had a long history of web spamming, having set up a company sending junk email messages in the 1990s. In 2008 he was found guilty of carrying out phishing attacks against MySpace users.

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